The four German transmission system operators (TSO) TenneT, Amprion, 50Hertz and TransnetBW publish regularly the current system registers of all power plants, which are funded by the German Renewable Energy Act (German: Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, EEG). These include solar energy from photovoltaics, wind energy, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and gas power plants. The images below show the regional distribution of these plants for each two-digit postal code area in Germany. The installed capacity refers to the overall performance of each energy source.
In August 2014, the raw data of the TSOs involved a total of over 1.5 million plants. Unfortunately, the data also contains incorrect entries. So this extensive data set needs to be cleaned before doing any analysis or visualization. For example, there are photovoltaic plants in the system register of TenneT with an installed capacity of over 602 MW. This value is much to high for a solar system and probably the result of an error in the decimal place. A further important verification is the validity of the postal code, in order to ensure a correct regional assignment. For this data preparation the statistical program R was used, which is very suitable for the analysis of large data sets.
The spatial distribution of renewable energy plants is important for the computation of solar and wind energy forecasts. For example, to detect the total power production out of all wind farms in Germany, the wind volume in Southern Germany is not that important because most of the wind farms are located in the North. Consequently the weather pattern of the North must be weighted stronger.
These forecasts are required for the regulation of the electricity grid. If the solar production is very high, the network may be overloaded. Consequently, solar farms are disconnected from the network. In case the solar production is very low, adjustable power plants, such as gas or coal power plants, need to be connected to ensure a stable network. Forecasts of weather-dependent, regenerative energies are also very important for power trading on the European Energy Exchange (EEX) and are used in the day-ahead, intraday trading and the spot market.
With regard to the energy transition (German: Energiewende) decentralized networks are becoming more important. In these smart grids the generator, storage and consumption of power as well as the transmission networks are able to communicate with each other. This ensures an optimal use of electricity and stability of the transmission networks. Again, the spatial distribution of renewable power plants is critical for planning and for the computation of local forecasts.
Are you interested in the regional distribution of renewable energy?
ClimVis provides maps for your region of interest in your desired spatial resolution (postal code areas). For the integration in your GIS or database, you can choose between different formats like Shapefile or GeoJSON.
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